Minutes - TRIPS Council - View details of the intervention/statement

Ambassador Federico A. González (Paraguay) (24-25 October) and Mr. Martin Glass (Hong Kong, China) (17 November)
Angola on behalf of Least-developed countries
336. The representative of Angola, speaking on behalf of the LDC Group, thanked the Secretariat and the other relevant organizations, in particular WIPO and UNCTAD, for the work they had undertaken in relation to the needs assessment process. He said that, since the implementation of the Decision of the Council for TRIPS of 29 November 2005, only six LDC Members had submitted their individual needs assessment between 2005 to 2008, namely, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Bangladesh and Senegal, and to date no clear response had been received concerning funding. He cited the example of Uganda, who had identified its priority needs and submitted its needs assessment to the Council in 2008. The total amount that it had requested in order to introduce reforms on the domestic level to implement the TRIPS Agreement was US$11,000 dollars over five years, a figure known to the World Bank. To date there had been no response. He also cited the example of Senegal who had submitted its needs assessment to the Council in 2010 and had assessed its needs as amounting to US$8.5 million. That assessment had been evaluated by WIPO but to date no response had been forthcoming to their funding request. Furthermore, in 2006 Bangladesh had carried out its assessment amounting to US$71.4 million, which included the enhancement of a research centre for the implementation of the TRIPS Agreement. However to date no response had been received. 337. He noted that of the 32 LDC Members of the WTO most still had to submit their needs assessment reports. The workshop had raised a crucial point concerning the lack of available funding to conduct needs assessments, in the light of the economic and financial crisis, and budgetary problems. It was well known that countries were affected by the current crisis, in particular the developed country Members, which had led to a lack of follow up in financial assistance. In light of the economic crises, the LDC Group of Members were unsure whether they were in a position to fulfil their obligations within the additional transition period under the 2005 decision that would expire. For that purpose, they would welcome any financial assistance to support them. 338. He believed that it was crucial to give careful consideration to a possible extension of the transition period for instance until 2020. The LDC Group intended to submit a proposal based on the same reasoning that was put forward for the waiver in 2005 which continued to be valid. It believed that an extension should be requested in the light of the economic crisis to assist LDC countries and obtain the necessary funding.